This article states that the Department of Defense will be giving vehicles designed for war zones to sheriff’s and police departments across the union. Do we really need such a show of force?
From war zones to city streets, some military vehicles are getting a new life — and not everyone is happy about the recycling.
The Defense Department recently announced it would be giving domestic law enforcement forces hulking vehicles designed to efficiently maneuver in a war zone for use in thwarting any potential high-scale activity.
I was really struck after the Boston Marathon bombing at the pictures of the vehicles from the Boston Police Department (not the National Guard). Now it appears that this is an increasing trend. Police departments displaying military force to the local citizenry. How often do the police need such equipment? How often will a tank/ATV style vehicle be necessary? If there is real danger can’t the Governor of a particular state call up the National Guard if a crime turns into an actual military style engagement? What is next? Drones? Will the Sheriff’s and police departments be flying attack helicopters and have attack jets ready to scramble at the local airport? (Please don’t ask John McCain or Lindsey Graham these questions!)
I would only be comfortable with this military style equipment in the hands of local law enforcement only under very strict guidelines of deployment. In other words, it can only be deployed by law enforcement when there is a true military style engagement and not for regular police work. Some of this seems like psychological “shock and awe” on the citizenry.